By Audrey Lotechukwu
FRI 26 FEB, 2021-theGBJournal- Wielding machine guns and machetes, bandits kidnapped unspecified number of students at Government Girls Secondary School Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State, Nigeria.
The Zamfara State Commissioner of Information, Sulaiman Tunau Anka confirmed the incident occurred around 1 a.m Friday. Various sources told theGBJournal that the number of students taken by the hoodlums may be as high as 250.
The latest kidnapping comes less than ten days after bandits abducted 27 students and three staff of Government Science College, Kagara Niger State. One student died in the incident while 12 relatives and staff were also taken. The students are yet to be seen or released.
Experts suggest to theGBJournal that the bandits are increasingly focusing on kidnapping of vulnerable children as a much easier way of making cash, as the Federal Government and its agencies squeeze the bandit’s sources of financing.
Our sources say the huge sums demanded for the release of victims point to the lucrative nature of the business, and they suggest that it will not be easy to disrupt the business quickly.
As much as N7 million is been demanded for the release of Government Science College, Kagara after the Niger State Government rejected an initial demand of N500 million. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) revealed Thursday that the bandits now demand hard drugs as well as ransom. In some cases, petrol (fuel) is demanded, as they intensify the sustenance of the bad business.
No less than a dozen kidnapping incident has been recorded in the Northern part of the country this year and most of the kidnappings have followed the familiar dangerous script.
The bold kidnappers are creating fear in Northern Nigeria, and around other parts of the country and the disruption have impacted education negatively as well as the cost of agriculture products around the country and compounded food inflation.
Food inflation sustained its upward trajectory spiking in January 2021 to 20.57% from 19.56% in December 2020 on high food distribution cost as well as lingering insecurity challenges in the North.